Manchester United confirmed that Raphael Varane missed his side’s game against Chelsea with a sore back.
The club relayed the news via their official website.
In Varane’s absence, Erik ten Hag’s decision was easy and the managed opted for a centre-back partnership of the rejuvenated Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.
Lindelof was not as impressive as Maguire and was hooked at half-time. Sergio Reguilon was brought on to replace the Swede. As a result, Luke Shaw was shifted from left-back and made to slot right next to Maguire at the heart of United’s backline.
Late into the game, Jonny Evans came on for Alejandro Garnacho to help United protect their lead.
The Red Devils ran out 2-1 winners against the Blues, courtesy of a brace from Scott McTominay.
Varane, who currently seems out of favour under Ten Hag has started just one of United’s 12 games across all competitions – the match vs. FC Copenhagen on October 24.
The last time the Frenchman lined up in the Premier League was during the club’s 1-0 loss at the hands of Crystal Palace on September 30.
Since United signed Varane from Real Madrid in the summer of 2021, his time in England has been riddled with injuries.
This term alone, the World Cup winner has faced spells on the sidelines due to illness, lack of full fitness, and now a sore back.
Ten Hag has repeatedly played down suggestions that there is a breakdown in his relationship with Varane and instead insisted his exclusion is purely down to tactical reasons.
However, the manager’s assertions have done little to calm the situation which has certainly raised eyebrows.
Patrice Evra recently weighed in on the matter and hinted that there might be a problem with Varane at United.
As the 20-time English champions prepare to host Bournemouth on Saturday, all eyes will be on Ten Hag and whether he names Varane in his starting XI if the player is deemed fit enough to feature in the proceedings.